ST.PETERSBURG, April 18. /TASS/. Some 1,500 foreign terrorists, who took part in combat actions in the Middle East, are in Europe now, Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov told a conference on countering international terrorism on Thursday.
"Some 1,500 out of 5,000 terrorists have arrived in the European Union from the Middle East, according to experts’ estimates. A significant number of them are gunmen, who have been sent by chieftains to Europe to continue terrorist attacks," Bortnikov told the conference organized by the Commonwealth of Independent States’ Interparliamentary Assembly.
Despite major losses in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorist groups, outlawed in Russia, and military groups affiliated with them still pose a serious threat, he said. "They managed to operate their forces based on a network principle. Interconnected and autonomous cells spread from the Middle East to Europe, Central and South East Asia, and major militant groups go deep into the African continent, in particular to Libya," Bortnikov noted.
According to the FSB chief, the situation in Afghanistan is of special focus. Illegal terrorist groups there are joined by terrorists from Syria, creating a threat for the Central Asian region’s states.